Continuing on with my backlog of blog post ideas from last week ….
While attending the Twins game last Thursday, Young Son and I made note of all the advertising around the field and video boards. The entire stadium is an advertisement because of its name – Target Field. Young Son commented about the high price of food at the stadium and I told him that those high prices, plus the ticket prices and advertising revenue were all ways for the Twins to make money in order to support the stadium and all of the employees, including the baseball players.
The following morning, I had this dream: I was reading a book by Neil Gaiman. It was supposed to be The Graveyard Book, which is currently sitting at my bedside waiting for a read, but as happens in dreams, it didn’t look like the non-dreamworld book. Instead, the cover made it look like a Curious George book. In the dream, I read a third of the way through the book, which was actually to the end of the book’s text. The rest of the book was packed with advertising.
I woke directly after this dream and thought, what if novelists were paid like ballplayers, with advertising revenue supporting their efforts? Making a living off of direct advertising revenue, like ads throughout their books, rather than through speaking fees? How might this change the way books are written?
Now, before you go thinking that this is a ridiculous idea, perhaps you should know that authors are on this path already. They have been offering individuals naming rights to characters and things in their novels, normally for charitable causes. The aforementioned Gaiman has offered naming rights, as have Margaret Atwood, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, and a host of other authors. The leap from charitable naming rights to bona fide naming rights income is not a big stretch.
I don’t think that advertisements within novels is outside the realm of possibility. If you’re thinking to yourself, I’ll never read a book with a bunch of ads, perhaps you are an uncommonly sheltered individual who has never read a magazine.
What do you think? Would you accept a novel that contained advertising? Why or why not?